The next Xbox’s DRM is up to publishers 
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Geoffrey Tim
April 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

HAL

There’s been much said – mostly negative, vitriolic ramblings – about the next-generation console from Microsoft’s rumoured perpetual internet requirements. While it’s more than likely that the console will indeed require an internet connection, is that so very different from the Xbox 360 as it stands right now?

If you have an Xbox live account and an active internet connection, when you boot up your console it automatically connects to Xbox Live, giving the user a richer experience with a live dashboard with evolving content. Sure, most if that content is advertising right now, but in the future it’s quite likely that it’ll have an embedded social activity stream, not unlike Twitter or Facebook – just a little more gamer centric.

That’s the scenario painted by Polygon in its latest batch of Xbox rumours. They say that Xbox Live’s friends system is set for a radical overhaul, where you’ll be able to “follow” other gamers instead of being tied to the two-way friends system that’s currently in place. If Xbox live were to function like a social network, that would make the Xbox’s perpetual online requirement make sense.

Unfortunately, it seems as though the online requirement might actually be used for the very thing we’re all fearing; DRM. According to Polygon, the internet connection could be used as some sort of anti-piracy tool, with the system’s built-in DRM checking to see a game’s legitimacy. They say that as it stands right now, while the option is there to have games play completely offline, other games might need to be authenticated online either as a one-time authentication, or requiring a perpetual connection.

That’s very much the way Pc games function, making the next Xbox more like a PC than ever.  It’ll be left up to publishers to decide whether or not to implement such checks.

In his most recent batch of details, Paul Thurrot says that the next Xbox’s online requirement won’t be as draconian as we believe. I hope he’s right.

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces.I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.I am also the emperor of the backend

  • OVG

    • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

      indeed

      • OVG

        next gen

        • OVG

          Merry fcking xbox.

          • OVG

            Its XBOX day, what do you mean this shit needs a 5gig update?

          • Deon Steyn

            One day that cat is going to murder his owner in his sleep.

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            It’s too much effort for grumpy cat

          • Sageville

            Allow me…

          • Sageville

            Allow me…

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            Still too much effort for grumpy cat

          • OVG

            pussy…cat nooooooooo!!!!!!

          • Sageville
          • OVG

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            lol. that cat looks like me on a good day

    • Super Rince Lvl2

      Ahh, there you are!

      • Deon Steyn

        Now I know what OVG stands for!

        • Super Rince Lvl2

          what do you think? :)

          • Deon Steyn

            Old Video Gamer?

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            Bravo

  • Deon Steyn

    I love how they try to soften the blow. From no internet, to must have internet but it won’t be so bad, then they say it is a must because it enriches the gaming experience and finishing with this is how thing work Deal With It!

    I also read that you can order a pizza from Pizza Hut, but they sell DLC packs for ingredients like pepperoni,salami,feta,olives,avocado,etc. for 300 MS per ingredient.

    • http://twitter.com/Kikmi Slade Boender

      *died*

    • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

      LOL …. DLC toppings………..I can see that happening

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      And you probably need to unlock random achievements in game before you even get the choice to unlock it with MS points….

    • http://twitter.com/D4RKL1NG Martin du preez

      Dude,Pizza hut won’t be backwards compatible with the nextbox,they have a exclusive deal signed with Dominos for next gen Pizza.

    • Yateen Dayaram

      I miss Pizza Hut :(

      • Deon Steyn

        You’re right! We used to have a Pizza Hut in South Africa

        • Yateen Dayaram

          I was in India two years ago and I saw a Pizza Hut there at the airport..i seriously geeked out and threw my money at them and ate their pizza (in that order) I still remember that…good times

          • Deon Steyn

            LOL when I read India and Pizza I was bracing for a horror story

          • Yateen Dayaram

            haha nah it was all good im alive haha

    • http://www.facebook.com/cerebal.asassin Mike Buhl

      Top Comment for 2013. Don’t forget, the technical issues where once you buy the “Supreme Dlc Pack” that it doesn’t unlock the Sausage.

      • Deon Steyn

        LOL

  • Deon Steyn

    Or any EA game.

    • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

      Or dare I say

      ANY GAME :(

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    I am so sorry guys. We all knew it was only a short time until PC centric DRM hit consoles. Just so sorry it has to be now. You console guys have my sympathy.

    • Deon Steyn

      At least we might get SimCity on the console.

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        Duh. The PC is the test phase remember?

        Diablo3, absolute kak on PC. Once it got fixed up they then put it on console perfect and all.

        Naturally you will get SimCity. Hooting trees excluded and everything!

    • Argentil

      There’s no reason console’s should have the same DRM. They are a closed platform. If the console maker takes the right measures to prevent piracy, the user shouldn’t have to be affected too greatly. Steam is a good example of this.

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        Well it’s happening. No way to stop it. Just like there was no way to do so on the PC

  • Nick de Bruyne

    You know this makes me think as well… if the value of being connected due to things like awesome social features and more is so worth it, then people who play offline for piracy reasons will feel that they are missing out on enough to want to rather go legit to have the bonus of the online experience. So you *could* play offline, but it would be missing a lot of awesomeness. That way, also, if someone didn’t have an internet connection, they can still play fine, they just dont have access to the cool online features, which for them means nothing because they dont have internet anyways. Most pirates have monster internet connections, and they will want to use them for cool online functionality (such as even PS4s streaming stuff), so they will rather go legit and have that stuff available. Thats a system that makes sense to me. Since these are gonna be more PC, one must wonder if they will be infinitely more hackable too

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      I prefer legit games. I hate social interaction in them. I hate being forced to do so (Diablo3 springs to mind first).

      So as long as it isn’t forced it’s all sunshine and roses. But I don’t have high hopes. The signs are already there. Perma online games are coming and I hate it

      • Nick de Bruyne

        I mean more that the Xbox itself will have all the online bells and whistles, not the games themselves, that way the games can still stay pure, but the console can do all the fancy modern things that the companies keep telling us that we are begging for so much…

        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          That’s why it sucks. It’s being made too easy and then worse the developers/publishers will simply turn around and blame the crappy DRM on the X-Box’s requirements and how badly it handles it bla bla bla. Just another way to force us and then have a scape goat at the same time. :(

        • Argentil

          Gamers are a spoilt lot, aren’t we? We want things, without compromise, all the things. That said, always-online is a big mistake, and all of this integration, and the features that come with it, should be optional. It shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip to justify always-online.

          Aside: Mandatory Kinect + always online should make people feel more uncomfortable than it already does.

    • OVG

      If someone didn’t have an internet connection, they get a halve arsed broken piece of shit that needs 6 updates to patch the patch that needed a patch to patch that other patch and half the disc has on-line gaming code.

      As you say, its to defeat piracy by forcing one on-line to register their game in order to fix the bugs and maybe if one is lucky… download the ending that was supposed to be in the game.

      The future sucks and the internet fudged it all up as it is nothing more than a Trojan Horse for the industry to use for their greedy little ulterior motives.

      We are the internet’s bitch and buying a fully complete envisioned package is a thing of the past. So lets all Deal with it for we are BORG.

      Monday… blahhhhh

      • Sageville

        Doood, Resistance is futile.

        • OVG

          For we are one,

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        You are on top form today

      • Argentil

        As over-the-top as this statement is, you’re correct about the Trojan horse for the industry analogy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=686751624 Darren Peach

      DRM is in a perpetual state of failure. Dude, Right now the state of control publishers are implementing in order to protect their Intellectual property is nuts. There is a growing trend of paying more for less and incentives from developers or publishers to squeeze us dry and DRM has a lot to do with that. Dead Space 3 using micro transactions to get more for menial resources that are completely superficial when you look at the rising cost of living in the world…….Expansions used to be free. I am afraid the Game Industry has grown up the wolves are out in full force to bleed us dry. But, As in politics there will always be contrasting views within the Industry and the consumer should find solace in that.

      • Argentil

        Surprisingly eloquent example. EA, and to a lesser extent, Ubisoft are both managing piracy poorly. CDProjekt RED have a refreshingly altruistic stance on DRM. EA need to focus less on milking their consumers, and tighten their budget and time allowances for their games. They’re not going to change the industry standard, and they will acknowledge it in a year or two after they’ve counted their coffers: No one is spending infinitely more money on micro-transactions in single-player campaign games AND piracy hasn’t been quelled.

        I feel sorry for whoever has to think of plan B in that situation, after their reputation hits its lowest point (Consumerist’s Worst Company in America 2012 & 2013).

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      I hate the contrived nature in which they want you to “enjoy” social media. I don’t want to be connected to facebook, nor do I want my wall to be polluted with nonsense. I also don’t want my twitter stream to be populated with my gaming-related junk. The world doesn’t care if I just unlocked an achievement, but if something interesting happens, I would like to share that with my gaming peeps.

      So far, social media connectivity is the former. It’s uninspired and stupid.

      But what’s really annoying me is this push to have publishers decide on the form of DRM for games on A CONSOLE. I’m sorry, there’s no way this can be spinned as a positive. It’s absolute crap. Microsoft needs to get its fingers out of its own ass.

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    I refer to this again

    • FoxOneZA – The Chosen One

      Always on-line DRM broke so many PC games :(

  • Super Rince Lvl2

    “Go Go OVG Rage!”

  • Deon Steyn

    Adma Orth might just have unintentionally unveiled the new Xbox’s slogan : Deal With It.

    • Sageville

      I think E-tolls will have issue with that…

  • insider

    These are all rumours, and everyone is posting some random crap to get their name out there before the official release is done.

    Just wait, MS is not going to dissapoint.

    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      Doth thee worketh for MS?

      • Argentil

        I don’t think he does, but blind followers are self-detrimental. These rumours, most of them come from industry insiders and are persistent. We heard nothing of always-online on the PS4 prior to it’s reveal. I think that, instead of nodding along, you should fight these rumours. There has been SUCH an uproar over the always-online rumours, that I would expect Microsoft to remove the requirement. If we had all kept quiet, MS would carry on with their plans. With the direction MS has shifted in the last 2-3 years* – I would be worried, and I would be vocal… which is why I am.

        Let’s be realistic: Microsoft is a business. You shouldn’t forget that. They will do whatever will make them more money.

        *Casual market focus, US-esoteric content (ESPN, Cable etc), fewer AAA 1st-party releases, advert-nonsense on the dashboard, kinect.

    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      Doth thee worketh for MS?

  • Trevor Davies

    And when you go online your console won’t phone home to MS so they can make sure you haven’t been naughty & modified their pristine console in any way…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=686751624 Darren Peach

    Wow. Irony. The very reason I stopped playing PC games is coming to consoles. DRM is madness. I will wait and see, Maybe 35 years old is a good age to retire from gaming ( Internal conflict imminent…….Nuclear emotion explosion………….Neva…….Gaming for evaaaaaaaa) I need a reboot.

    • OVG

      I concur. We now have 3 PCs on the market.

      TIME OUT.

  • OVG

    The Internet…

    F U Sally

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  • FoxOneZA – The Chosen One

    “I hope he’s right”

  • Tbone187

    I don’t reckon console piracy is at a level where they need to implement such measures… By making it an issue now will force our beloved Skidrow / Nos and Reloaded teams to attack them in the same light as pc’s… Just cause they can and they like a good challenge…I can already smell custom firmware on it’s way…

    • Argentil

      This is the main point. Consoles are a closed platform, piracy shouldn’t be an issue. There is no installation of custom software allowed. As long as your console is online, they will verify that everything is in order when you log on. If you pirate, or mod, you will be unable to take your console online. How does eliminating all offline users benefit anyone? People will just pirate the consoles to play offline anyway – then they will feel vindicated for doing so because big bad M$ made them deal with it.

      If we were to follow Sony’s history with Linux, and the entitled communities involved, it’s only a matter of history repeating itself.

      • Tbone187

        Agreed…I do feel online features, including MP, is overrated tho…not saying I don’t enjoy the odd online experience but I reckon more people will sacrifice the ability to log on in order to have a more pleasant experience offline…And as you say, if MS somewhat leaves no other avenue then I’m afraid they’ll be worse off with piracy in the new generation…Seems MS are in the habit of changing winning formulas as was clear with Win8…

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  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    What a cop-out! At least have the balls and be consistent Microsoft. Take a stance. It’s your fucking console.

    I think leaving DRM to publishers is a stupid idea. It’s almost as if no one is learning from what’s been happening on PCs, and I hope that it backfires spectacularly. I can just see Ubisoft insisting that you play always online, or EA insisting that you send a semen sample with every game, or that whenever you load up Gears of War 12 or Halo 16, you first need to stand for a biometric scan.

    I’m already ice cold towards the NextKinectBox, and their inability to manage their own affairs, is making me glad that Microsoft’s next console isn’t even on my list.